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Start-up Businesses

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what advice and assistance is available to small start-up businesses offering services and supplies to public bodies; and what steps he has taken to ensure that such businesses can access the same information and competitions as large, well-established preferred bidders. (93735)

I have been asked to reply.

We recognise the importance of removing barriers faced by small businesses accessing public sector contract opportunities. Our measures to ensure small businesses are on an equal footing include the new web portal, which aims to bring buyers and sellers together; regional training events; a guide for small businesses on how to tender; and the local authority concordat aimed at ensuring purchasing policies are small business friendly. These and other measures, are expected to lead to greater opportunities for small firms and a more competitive environment, for the benefit of SMEs and the economy.